Takeaways Author: Nyoman Prayoga Comments
ASIA: Indonesia

Innovation of information and communication technology (ICT) has played a big role in development globally, including in Indonesia. Nowadays, people can easily use their mobile phones to access numerous applications that are available on the internet. Over the past years, the utilization of ICT development has explored the capacity to use community-based generated data for planning and decision-making processes in various sectors such as mobility, disaster, public facilities, socio-economic matters, etc.

Recognizing this, Mercy Corps Indonesia, through the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), raised the topic of using community-generated data to build resilience at its Resilience Talk Event on 29 June 2018 at @america, Pacific Place, Jakarta. Moderated by Denia Syam from Mercy Corps Indonesia, the discussions brought four experts in the development of ICT and the event was attended by more than 80 participants.

One of community-based reporting applications is called Qlue. The name ‘Qlue’ is derived from quality clues that offers a platform to connect cities’ data and the heads of cities in order to gain actionable insights for certain sectors and areas (i.e. geography). It emphasizes public participation, for example through citizen complaints or suggestions as a bottom-up approach that is tailored to the government monitoring system so that they can employ measurable strategic solutions as a top-down approach.

One of features of Qlue is ‘MyCity Dashboard’ that includes several components such as Smart Government, Smart Mobility, Smart Safety, and Smart Environment. Jan Ramos Pandia, Head of Public Affairs at Qlue said, “Imagine a city can have a 360o overview of its condition through a dashboard. This integrated multiple data source can provide a comprehensive visualization of a city’s situation and condition for city leaders to take important decisions based on data.”

The Jakarta Government, through its Jakarta Smart City (JSC) platform, is also using Qlue as one of its data feeders. JSC itself is a government platform that aims to provide public information related to transportation, public services, and even disasters. It also enables people to check the price of groceries, hospital bed availability, traffic situations, land prices, etc. It’s not only relying on community generated data, but also tools that are placed and embedded to various items that can be connected to internet and/or GPS. For example, a community can track how long they should wait in the bus shelter for the next bus coming to pick them up.

“We can make an analysis from data collected. For example, to analyze people’s behavior in littering, analyze traffic patterns, and other things that we can use for prediction, modelling, including for flood management,” said by Setiaji, Head of Jakarta Smart City. “By understanding the patterns, we are able to be more preventative. For example, if we learn where the flood prone areas are, then we should perform drainage cleaning and other flood preparation activities before rainy season comes,” he added.

Similar to Qlue, there is another community-based reporting app called AtmaGo, developed by AtmaConnect. AtmaGo allows users to read, write, and comment on posts in different categories. The app has been used to share problems, news, events, job opportunities, even disasters. Users resident in certain locations can receive emergency alerts to help them respond to and recover from floods and other disasters. Alfan Rodhi, Field Director of AtmaGo, said, “A community knows best about what’s happening in their neighborhood.” AtmaGo is designed to build social cohesion in community. It’s a location-based application where people can track events in a specific place about which they want to stay updated.

A lot of AtmaGo users share very local context information. For example, people posted their need for laundry service, babysitter, etc. Agus, a user from Semarang, attended the event and shared his experience in using AtmaGo. The app itself has just recently been introduced in Semarang City and Regency through the TRANSFORM Program that focuses on flood risk reduction in the Garang River basin, funded by Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) – Water Window Challenge supported by Z Zurich Foundation. Now, people can use AtmaGo to report disaster events that happen in their area like flooding and landslide. “I’m still learning about how to use it better. I used AtmaGo to promote a local tourism site in my village, community activity on trees planting, river cleaning, and other things. It’s got a lot of potential to be used by wider people,” said Agus.

Indonesia is one of the largest social media users in the world; the impacts of this have become inevitable. Ismail Fahmi as a founder of Media Kernels Indonesia said that a lot of public discussions is actually taking place in social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc. “Social media has become the new modern city hall,” said Ismail. Recognizing this fast changing phenomenon, he developed ‘Drone Emprit’, a system that aims to monitor and analyse social media and other online platforms that are based on big data. It can map public opinion through digital conversations—from which decision makers can learn from the patterns or findings. Ismail emphasized that there are many ‘signals’ available online within the context of social issues and these signals have to be understood well by government and city leaders.

“It’s important to receive the signal well, rather than concerning ourselves with catching the noise.” He was referring to hoaxes and hate speech as noise that has disturbed communities.

There are many different groups of people and organizations that can benefit from the availability of these data, including the government that has the authority for decision making in city development. This new form of bottom up and top down integration approach is believed to contribute to building resilience in this digital era without sidelining the importance of the face-to-face dialogues that still remain essential.

Presentation materials of ACCCRN Resilience Talk: Using Generated-Community Data to Build City Resilience are availabale here:

Photo album is available here.

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